Kia has introduced a new Carens multi-purpose vehicle with increased storage space and improved loading ability. It also has a new 2,0-litre turbocharged diesel engine.Kia has introduced a new Carens multi-purpose vehicle with increased storage space and improved loading ability. It also has a new 2,0-litre turbocharged diesel engine.

The Carens is targeted at the medium end of the people-mover market, where it will compete with the Renault Scénic 1,9 dCi Expression, Citroën Xsara Picasso 2,0 Hdi Exclusive, VW Golf 1,9 Tdi Estate and the Fiat Multipla 1,9 D JTD ELX.

The first model to be launched features a five-speed manual transmission mated to the common rail direct injection engine. An automatic four-speed will be available later in the year. The engine has a maximum power output of 83 kW at 4 000 r/min and a peak torque figure of 250 N.m at 2 000 r/min.

The five-seater Carens has ample head and legroom, with the rear seats folding down to make extra space for cargo. The “full flat” function of the seats is different from the Carens’ predecessor, offering significantly increased storage space. Kia’s engineers have also maximised the height and width of the hatch aperture for improved loading.

Standard equipment includes power steering, electric windows, central locking, keyless remote entry, air-conditioning, electronically adjustable side mirrors and a four-speaker radio/CD system. The model also features an overhead console with a sunglass holder, digital clock and dual map-reading lights.

Up front, the Carens now features chromed horizontal grille slats. Large, multi-reflector headlamps complement the body’s character lines, and provide a broader and longer beam pattern for safer driving. At the rear, oversized taillights harmonise with the new curved tailgate.

The new model has a wide track and long wheelbase with four-wheel independent suspension. The front springing is by MacPherson struts and a stabiliser bar, while the rear features a dual link design. ABS enhances braking ability. In the event of a frontal impact, crumple zones absorb the forces, while a T-frame prevents the engine from entering the cabin.

The pillar, side sill members, floor pan and roof have been reinforced to provide an additional line of protection. Door impact beams made of high-tensile steel provide extra side impact protection. The Carens also features pre-tensioning three-point safety belts, and airbags for driver and front passenger.

Kia says the new model is aimed at mid-management professionals between 30 and 40 years old, most of them married and family-orientated, who are practical and sensitive to value.

The Carens will be sold with a three-year/100 000km warranty and three-year unlimited mileage roadside assistance. A three-year/60 000 km maintenance plan is standard. Service intervals are 15 000 km.